Pome­gran­ate

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - FOOD & WINE - MYS­TERY

An an­cient fruit whose ruby red seeds, ac­cord­ing to Greek mythol­ogy, led to Perse­phone’s cap­tiv­ity by Hades, god of the un­der­world. It has been cul­ti­vated in its na­tive Asia for mil­len­nia, and acquired iconic and re­li­gious sta­tus in many cul­tures. It is cited in the Ko­ran as ex­am­ple of the good things God pro­vides. Jewish tra­di­tion teaches that the pome­gran­ate is a sym­bol of right­eous­ness be­cause it is said to have 613 seeds, which cor­re­sponds with the 613 mitzvot, or com­mand­ments, of the To­rah. And it is pre­scribed as adorn­ment for priestly robes in the book of Ex­o­dus.

Looks like:

The pretty fruit has a leath­ery rind, coloured any­where be­tween mild yel­low and bright crim­son, while the in­te­rior is filled with clus­ters of glassy look­ing, fleshy seeds, or ar­ils, sep­a­rated by pithy, yel­low­ish mem­branes.

Tastes like:

Pome­gran­ate pulp is tart and juicy, like a sweeter ver­sion of the cran­berry. The skin en­cas­ing each aril is firm, de­liv­er­ing a sat­is­fy­ing burst. The seeds have a dis­tinct bit­ter­ness, and tend to get stuck in the teeth.

Used in:

The fruit is widely used in cook­ing through­out the Mid­dle East, where the flavour is of­ten har­nessed as a juice or syrup. Pome­gran­ate juice has long been a pop­u­lar drink in Per­sian and In­dian cui­sine, and be­gan to be widely dis­trib­uted in the United States and Canada in 2002 and touted for its an­tiox­i­dant prop­er­ties.

Grena­dine syrup, used as a cock­tail mix, is ac­tu­ally thick­ened and sweet­ened pome­gran­ate juice.

Eat­ing the fruit raw can be a bit of a has­sle. A sim­ple trick to make the process a lit­tle smoother is to cut the pome­gran­ate through the rind in sev­eral places — with­out cut­ting into the seeds — and soak the fruit in a bowl of wa­ter for five min­utes. This will make it eas­ier to break apart.

Found at:

Young’s Mar­ket, 1000 McPhillips St.

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